December 12th, 2007
09:40 AM ET
12 years ago

Huckabee takes fire for Mormon comment

Huckabee is taking heat for his comments on Mormonism.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee is facing fire Wednesday for comments he makes in an upcoming New York Times Magazine article that appear to disparage the Mormon faith.

In the article, a preview of which is posted on the New York Times Web site, the former Arkansas governor is quoted as asking, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

The comment came after New York Times reporter Zev Chafets asked Huckabee point-blank whether he thought Mormonism was a religion or a cult. Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, said he thought it was the former, but conceded he doesn't "know much about it."

Speaking on NBC's Today Show, rival candidate Mitt Romney - himself a Mormon - said, "I think attacking someone's religion is really going too far. It's not the American way."

In a statement released late Tuesday night, Huckabee's campaign said the candidate was taken out of context in the New York Times article and was not bashing the religion but instead was "illustrating his unwillingness to answer questions about Mormonism and to avoid addressing theological questions during this campaign."

"Gov. Huckabee has said consistently that he believes this campaign should center on a discussion of the important issues confronting our nation, and not focus on questions of religious belief," Dr. Charmaine Yoest, a senior advisor to the campaign said in a statement. "He wants to assure persons of all faith traditions of his firm commitment to religious tolerance and freedom of worship."

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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Just the fact that so many of you keep repeating yourself that Mormons do believe that proves Romney's point. Should Huckabee point out all religous differences just because they are true? All religions believe different things. We don't need to hear about it. Huckabee knew exactly what he was doing. Ask a question that stirs up religous intolerance based on perception. Who cares if mormons believe that. It is a minor difference and irrelevant to the election.

    December 12, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Patrick, New Smyrna Beach, FL

    Hey, if you're not prepared to defend your beliefs, then maybe you should rethink them. Huckabee made an accurate statement about Mormonism. Romney's religion is fair game. It tells a lot about him. To tell the truth, I think they're both too religious, but that's another rant.

    December 12, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Im confused. Did he say anything that was untrue?

    December 12, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Re-purv-ican, Washington D.C.

    I think Huck really wants to "isolate" the Mormons, just like he wanted to "isolate" the AIDS patients. Just another example of a biggoted Republican A-hole.

    December 12, 2007 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Jay, PA

    Those of you arguing that it's an actual belief are missing the point.

    The fact is, Huckabee's comments are very deceptive. I highly doubt that that is all he knows about the Mormon church.

    As a missionary for the LDS church I would hear different reasons why people weren't interested in learning more about us. Whenever I heard the "Satan and Christ are brothers" argument as to why they weren't interested, I knew they were baptist. It's obviously a doctrine that the baptist ministers stress to their congregations to keep people from learning more about the LDS church.

    Of all the "innocent" questions he could have asked about the Mormon church, why do you think it was that one?

    Hmm...

    December 12, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Rich, SLC, UT

    The Evangelists and Baptists have turned this GOP race into a complete religious joke...
    By the way, aren't all Southern Baptists wife beating, NASCAR loving, KKK members?

    December 12, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. Linda, Providence, RI

    Huckabee is saying now that religion should stay out of politics, just wait if he becomes President the tide will turn, it will be all about religion.

    December 12, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Greg, NY, NY

    As an Atheist, this is all high comedy to me.

    Posted By jw, canadian,ok : December 12, 2007 11:01 am

    As an Atheist as well, this is not comedy. This is serious! Do we really want another president that bases his thought process on his religion? Science is hurting because of men like this.

    The earth is only 6,000 years old? Evolution didn't happen? God put dinosaur bones deep in the earth to test our faith?

    What happens if the choice comes along to nuke a country that might start World War 3 and the president thinks that by dropping the bomb he is simply 'fulfilling prophecy'?

    It is time to get out of the new 'Middle Ages' seriously.

    December 12, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Michelle D. - Atlanta, GA

    Huck's an equal opportunity offender.

    December 12, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. J~

    If Huckabee he is going to make a comment and then claim he doesn't really know if that is the case what does that say about his leadership abilities? If he were president would he be making remarks and staking out positions on issues he hasn't bothered to study and understand? Wow what a leader he would be,.....not!!!

    Huckabee was right in his understanding of doctrine for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As someone with a degree in theology though he is aware of the full context of that doctrine which he intentionally did not present. So what was the purpose of his comment then? It was simply to attack. There was no innocence in his statement, it was not causual in nature, it was not meant to educate, it was meant to scare. Wow, another scare tactic by another politician, who by the way was a Baptist minister who preached everyone was going to hell if they did not following his preaching. Are his actions/tactics really that surprising being both a politician and former hell fire and brimstone minister?

    December 12, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Jason Roach, Anniston Alabama

    This guy is such a bigoted, racist, homophobic, lying creep. I am ashamed he's even running for anything other than the head of the KKK.If you aren't white, old and Christian forget living in his America. I think the country is sick of dealing with people like this.

    December 12, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    I am an independent who leans Republican, however, if either Huckabee or Romney were to win the Republican nomination I would gladly vote Democrat. I loathe Hillary Clinton to the core but these two candidates are dangerous to this country.

    The Republican party needs to rid itself of the evangelical element else it will ultimately become irrelevant just like the Democratic party has been since the 60's. Nomination of either of these two candidates would certainly go along way towards that end.

    December 12, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Jerald, Boise, ID

    I am a Huckabee supporter and have close ties to him. We all agree that Mormonism is a dangerous, deluded cult, and we are NOT politically correct about it.

    We're conservatives, not liberals. Try to grow some thicker skin, Mitt.

    December 12, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Maria, Louisiana

    It doesn't matter if Mormons do believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers. What matters is that when you attack another person's religiion while admitting that you don't know much about it is hitting below the belt. Huckabee has gone to far. This country was founded on religious freedom. These people are running for president. Religion has nothing to do with the job of president. I know I will not vote for or not vote for someone because of their religion. My vote will be based on their ideas to make this country better for me and my family. Leave the religious insult out of the election. Because of Huckabee's comment, he may have lost any chance he had to gain my vote.

    December 12, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Nick

    Hmm...I could swear I remember Huckabee saying that questions about Romney's faith were "inappropriate". Sounds like the pastor's getting a little nervous now that he's the one getting the limelight attacks.

    As a point of fact, though, the belief that Jesus and Satan being brothers shouldn't be apphauling to someone who reads the Bible. I believe Isaiah said, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, SON of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12). Who's son do you think he is??? Son of the Morning=Lucifer, Son of God=Christ, two sons, same father=brothers. Hmm...makes sense to me.

    I'm not sure what makes this bad doctrine. What is does make for Huckabee is bad politics...

    December 12, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Ted Sauls

    It is ironic that when Candidates are CANDID that they are bashed by the Left. Huck is right in his answer, and Mormonism is a cult. I do not agree with all of his stances, but so far Huck has my vote.

    Why is stating a fact considered intolerant? If Hilary said that Christians hold that Mary was a Virgin I would not be offended. Why do Mormons not want the truth about their religion discussed?

    December 12, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Carla Gonzales LA

    So how do you feel about jews and muslins Mr Huckabee. Maybe its time you decide if your running for president or minister of this country.

    December 12, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. MikePost, Bosie, Idaho

    I dislike the beliefs of both evangelical fundamentalists and mormons; but really to be truthful don't all Christians believe the story of Lucifer being a fallen angel and wouldn't that make him some sort of spiritual family member of God?
    In quiring minds want to know!

    December 12, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Mike S, Fulton Ms.

    Strange that Huckabee is accuratly quoting Mormon dogma and he is to blame. Why is the media shocked and redressing Huckabee, is the fact an affront to someone?

    December 12, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Jared, Seattle, WA

    The point is not whether mormons do or don't believe that. The point is that he intentionally brought up something that he knew some people would find controversial about another candidate's personal faith, without any kind of explanation of the doctrine itself. I'm not buying the awww shucks attitude he's covering it up with.

    He did it with the intention of making people think Romney's religion is weird. That's why it's a low blow. It's irrelevant to the election.

    December 12, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Ba Gua Zhang, Chico, CA

    What mudslinging slur is next? The Devil made him/her do it! or Kill a ___________ (fill in the blank as you wish) for Christ!

    Mixing religion and politics demeans both and hints at theocratic impulses that have no place in this constitutional republic. One can see where this can lead to–just look at the Taliban in the Middle East.

    December 12, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Nader, Houston Tx

    No issue should be above the right to scrutiny, debate, challenging and opposing. The idea that religion, spirituality, and all other systems of belief are somehow exempt from any objective critical analysis is inconsistent with every underlying message of democracy, and freedom in the true sense of their definitions.

    A mistaken, or calculated attack on someones ideas, or whatever else, should be not be scrutinized differently for being religious in nature. I don't care for either candidate, so I don't feel motivated to decide if Huck went too far. I think I agree with Dan, Lexington though. I'd like to see political figures become less of a system that tailors them, and more like us ones in between. Have actual real answers follow the real questions and issues.

    December 12, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. J~

    Does Huckabee know that as a Christian who believes in the Bible he/Baptist believe Satan is Jesus brother too as God created everyone and everything? Perhaps he wasn't the best theology student after all which would maybe explain his ignorant remark.

    December 12, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. Dumb-o-crat, Washington DC

    How exactly is this an attack? He's just stating the truth.

    December 12, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. josh

    Dear CNN. In 5th grade we learned the difference between a declarative statment and a question. a comment is a statement. Sounds like Huckabee asked a question... he did not make a "comment". I would think that the very least you liberal arts people could get this one right. You are either stupid or slanted. I'm not sure which is worse.

    December 12, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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